Menlo Systems

Precision in Photonics. Together we shape light.

Menlo Systems in short

Menlo Systems is a leading developer and global supplier of instrumentation for precision metrology on the highest level. The company with headquarters in Martinsried near Munich is known for its Nobel Prize winning optical frequency comb technology. Our main product lines are optical frequency combs, solutions for time and frequency distribution, ultrastable lasers, terahertz systems, and femtosecond lasers. We deliver state-of-the-art products to customers from industry and academia worldwide. To push the limits of the measureable, we work closely with selected customers and develop new solutions for laser-based precision measurements.

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Who we are

Menlo Systems was founded in 2001 by Professor Dr. Theodor W. Hänsch, Dr. Ronald Holzwarth, Dr. Michael Mei, and Alex Cable as a spin-off from the renowned Max-Planck-Institute for Quantum Optics (MPQ) in Garching near Munich. Organized in a GmbH, the company counts more than 100 employees, the majority having a university degree in physics or engineering, united by the passion for precision in photonics. With the two industrial partners, Hamamatsu and Thorlabs, together we shape light in a unique way.

Our mission

The invention of the optical frequency comb technology - a revolutionary and simple technique for measuring the frequency of light - has been called "...the biggest advance in precision electromagnetic measurements since people began to measure laser frequencies in the seventies..." Our mission is to accelerate the advancement of optical technology for precision measurements and their applications from the table tops of research laboratories to standard use in communication and high technology industries. Our aim is to serve our customers in pursuing their visions and ideas. Our hope is to create a place for highly skilled people in an open environment.

Our products and markets

We deliver standard as well as customer inspired solutions of highest quality. The products are made in Germany, the systems are designed for 24/7 operation.

Our core technology originates in stabilized lasers for optical frequency comb generation, serving applications such as time and frequency metrology, high-resolution spectroscopy, Lidar, astronomy, or space borne metrology. The timing and synchronization systems provide perfect options for large-scale facilities such as geodetic observatories or particle accelerators. The ultrastable lasers enable complete systems for optical clock applications, and serve applications where pure optical signals are required. The terahertz time-domain spectrometers serve applications in spectroscopy and quality control. The femtosecond fiber lasers based on our patented figure 9® all-PM fiber design technology offer excellent stability and low-noise operation. Besides being unique seed lasers for above instruments, the lasers as stand-alone units find applications in diverse markets in life sciences, 3D printing and additive manufacturing, in material scribing or cutting, and in research and development. Apart from complete solutions we also offer stabilization electronics, add-ons for metrology, and photodetectors for various applications.

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Menlo Systems worldwide

Menlo Systems’ headquarters is located in Martinsried near Munich. Supported by Thorlabs, Inc., Menlo Systems holds its US subsidiary in Newton, New Jersey to maintain a direct line to its customers in the US and Canada. In China, the co-location with Thorlabs China allows us to give excellent technical support as well as excellent and in-time service to Chinese customers. The partnership with Hamamatsu allows us to have excellent support for the Japanese customers. Our highly qualified engineers located at our subsidiaries guarantee excellent technical support as well as in-time service. For our customers, we offer frequency comb seminars, technology seminars, as well as application seminars at our headquarters as well as in selected places worldwide.

Menlo Systems key facts


Management Team:
Dr. Michael Mei, CEO
Dr. Ronald Holzwarth, CTO

Martinsried/Munich, Germany

Transfer of innovative optical technologies into user-friendly products

Product overview

Company brochure

Company Logo
(Zip file with JPEG, EPS, AI, PDF)

menlo nobelpreis 02 2

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2005
Roy J. Glauber, John L. Hall, Theodor W. Hänsch


Menlo Systems Nobel Prize in Physics 2005